If you reside in the United States, you may be familiar with noisy cockatiel chirping birds seen in many households. This is because this bird species is prevalent; in fact, it is one of the top pet bird options in the nation.
Cockatiels are affectionate and outgoing, making them excellent companions. Birds are one of the best animals to have as pets, and cockatiels are often regarded as the best pet bird.
Cockatiels are well-known for their whistling noises, which they can use to serenade their favourite person, object, or even themselves. These Australian natives are typically well-adjusted and like cuddling on the shoulders of their favourite individual.
A captive cockatiel can live for more than 20 years if it receives reasonable care and a balanced diet. Below, we'll cover what cockatiels consume in the wild, what they should be fed in captivity, and the nutrients they require.
What Does Cockatiel Consume?
Cockatiels are herbivores that consume primarily seeds, flowers, fresh and dry nuts, fruits, legumes, newly harvested pods, berries, and crops. Cockatiels are mostly herbivores in the wild, feeding on plants and other flora.
However, they have also been observed eating farmers' crops and sprouting seeds and beans. In their natural habitat, these loud-chirping birds have adapted to this diet and have evolved to remove shells off seeds quickly.
The cockatiel's seed preferences vary based on its habitat and what is available. In a study conducted in 1987 and published by D. Jones, it was determined that cockatiels favoured younger and softer seeds among the 29 types of seeds used in the trial. As cockatiels prefer to eat whatever is on the ground, they can occasionally capture terrestrial insects in addition to plants, crops, and anything else their beaks can reach.
What Do Pet Cockatiels Eat?
A nutritious and well-balanced cockatiel diet should consist of grass seeds, pellets explicitly designed for them, legumes, grains, nuts, cereals, and an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Various nutrients should be provided to cockatiels to lengthen their longevity. Cockatiels, like most bird species, require a balanced mixture of minerals, vitamins, carbs, fat, protein, and water. Furthermore, cockatiels are susceptible to obesity and other health issues, such as iodine deficiency, and hence require a well-balanced diet.
Cockatiels can eat various foods, but pellets and seeds should make up at least 60 percent of their diet to receive the necessary nutrients for growth.
Are pellets a superior choice of food for cockatiels?
Cockatiels consume both grass seeds and pellets as their primary food source. Conversely, pellets provide a higher nutritional value for pet cockatiels because they are specially made for the bird species and contain additional nutrient-rich ingredients.
Numerous specialists regard pellets as a steady component of a cockatiel's diet. However, pellets are not a bird's regular diet. Therefore, they can be mixed with other meals. For example, most owners believe that seeds are the best meal for cockatiels because they are their natural food source.
However, seeds lack the vitamins and calcium necessary for a cockatiel's growth and wellbeing. This is why pellets are created — so that the vitamins, calcium, and minerals that most foods lack can be integrated into one pelleted food in the correct proportions.
A study also revealed that a diet consisting solely of seeds could cause various health issues, including nerve damage, immune system abnormalities, sinusitis, and others that could potentially limit their lives.
However, a meal consisting of seventy-five percent pellets and twenty-five percent seeds is a healthy combination, which can be improved by adding fresh vegetables and fruits.
What fruits and vegetables are consumed by cockatiels?
Cockatiels require fresh fruits and vegetables in their diet regularly to mimic the naturally diversified diet they consume in the wild. Fruits and vegetables should comprise at least 20% of their daily diet.
Cockatiels may consume vitamin C-rich foods like oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, and mangoes. They can also eat fruits available year-round, such as apples, grapes, bananas, and many berries. Here is a list of fruits that can be added to the diet of cockatiels:
Additionally, dried fruits such as raisins, dates, plums, cranberries, and prunes can be fed to cockatiels. Although cockatiels frequently consume seeds, certain fruit seeds can be harmful and dangerous for them; therefore, the seeds must be removed from fruits before feeding.
As for vegetables, a cockatiel's diet should include an abundance of greens. Vitamin A is abundant in orange and yellow vegetables, including sweet potatoes. The darker the leaves while feeding cockatiels greens, the better. Here is a list of the vegetables that cockatiels frequently consume:
- Leaf lettuce
Cockatiels should not be fed canned veggies because they contain only calories and no other nutrients.
Can Cockatiels Consume Meat?
Cockatiels are herbivores, although they can safely consume limited amounts of meat such as chicken, fish, or beef and other meat products like hard-boiled eggs, cheese, and yogurt.
How Often Do Cockatiels Eat?
Adult cockatiels must consume food at least twice daily, once in the morning and once before dusk. They require 1.5 to 2 teaspoons or 30 to 40 grams of pellets or seeds daily, as well as fruits and vegetables as occasional treats.
If you're looking for a nutritious diet for your cockatiel, you should consider offering them a mix of fresh fruits and vegetables and cooked grain. In addition to providing the bird with essential vitamins and minerals, these foods will also provide him with the protein and other nutrients he needs to stay healthy and active. As always, be sure to talk to your avian veterinarian about what kind of food is best for your pet.